3 August, 2014
Posted by stalinsmoustache under Stalin
| Tags: love
, reading Stalin
Stalin tended to make long friendships, especially with those he could trust. One of those was Molotov (the ‘hammer’), or Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Skryabin, later to take up many senior posts including that of Foreign Minister.
In his memoirs, Molotov notes that the young Stalin was ‘handsome’ to women. Thin, scruffy, energetic, and with the ability to charm with poetry and song, few could resist Stalin’s charms. ‘Women must have been enamoured with him,’ writes Molotov, ‘because he was successful with them. He had honey-coloured eyes. They were beautiful.’ Indeed, many who describe Stalin speak of his ‘shining eyes.’
It seems that men too were attracted to Stalin, including Molotov. They first met in 1912 in Petrograd. Molotov was told to meet in a courtyard, behind a dentist’s apartment. Moments after Molotov arrived, Stalin emerged suddenly from behind a woodpile. Molotov was overwhelmed. ‘I didn’t see how he appeared, but he wore the uniform of a pyschoneurology student. We introduced ourselves.’ Stalin’s pockmarks and Georgian accent were noticeable. ‘He discussed only the most important issues without wasting a second on anything unnecessary. He delivered some Pravda materials. No superfluous gestures. The he vanished just as suddenly as he had appeared. He climbed over the fence and this was done with classic simplicity and grace’.
The next day, a smitten Molotov told a friend: ‘He’s astonishing. He possesses internal revolutionary beauty, a Bolshevik to the marrow, clever, cunning as a conspirator …’ At their second meeting, they talked all night. They would work together for the next 41 years.
Molotov took his love of Stalin to the grave. He died in 1986 at the age of 96, lamenting Gorbachev’s reforms.
31 March, 2014
Posted by stalinsmoustache under Mao Zedong
| Tags: desire
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In a string of pieces from 1919, Mao deals with the questions of sex, love and marriage. These were prompted by the suicide of a Miss Zhao, who killed herself in the marriage sedan that was taking her to a wedding she did not want. One of these articles can be found here, but there are more than a dozen others. In ‘The Question of Love – Young People and Old People: Smash the Policy of Parental Arrangement’ (1919), Mao writes:
We have many different kinds of desires, such as the desire to eat, the desire for sex, the desire to play, the desire for fame, and the desire for power and influence (also called the desire to dominate), and so on. Of these, the desires for sex and food are fundamental, the former to maintain the ‘present’ and the latter to open up the ‘future’. Of these two desires, there is no absolute difference in the desire for food according to age. Sexual desire does, however, differ with age.
The expression of sexual desire, generally speaking, is love. Young people see the question of love as being very important, while old men don’t think it’s worth worrying about … Only in China is this question put to one side. When I was young, I saw many people getting married. I asked them what they were up to. They all replied that a person takes a wife to have someone to make tea, cook, raise pigs, chase away the dogs, spin, and weave. At this time I asked, wouldn’t it be a lot easier to hire a servant? It wasn’t until later that I heard that people got married ‘to carry on the family line.’ This left me still perplexed. … Society does not regard love as being important, and thus, except for the slave’s work of making tea, cooking, and so on, marriage is nothing but that base life of fleshly desire. (What we call sexual desire, or love, involves not only the physiological satisfaction of fleshly desire, but the satisfaction of a higher order of desires – spiritual desires and the desire for social intercourse.) … In short, capitalism and love are in conflict with one another. Old men are in conflict with love. Thus there is a tight bond between old men and capitalism, and the only good friends of love are young people.
Revolutionary Writings, 1912-1949, pp. 439-40.
22 July, 2011
Snippets from volume 44 of the Collected Works (yes, I am almost done).
On boots, from a telegram during the ‘civil’ war in 1919:
Yevestky, Chief of Supplies, Southern Front
During July you were sent a considerable quantity of uniforms and footwear.
Despite this, in all the armies on the Southern Front some units are without boots or clothing.
On pain of being held personally answerable, I order you to take vigorous measures to immediately distribute what has been received among the needy units.
Collected Works, vol. 44, p. 274.
On macaroni, during the same war, now in 1920:
Please convey my thanks to the 30th Regiment of Red Communards of the Turkestan Front for the macaroni and flour, which I have handed over to the children of the city of Moscow.
Collected Works, vol. 44, p. 374
A new year wish:
January 1, 1919
Greetings and New Year salutations to the Communist group. With all my heart I wish that in the new year we shall all commit fewer stupidities than in the old and that the building up of Soviet power, to which the comrades of the Commissariat for Internal Affairs in particular are devoting their labours, will be carried to a successful conclusion.
And some kind words:
I would dearly love to say a lot of kind words to you to make things easier for you.
Collected Works, vol. 43, p. 602.
I should like, if only in a letter, to grip your hand hard, very hard, to express my love and the love of us all for Vera Mikhailovna.
Collected Works, vol. 4, p. 150.
See, he’s a softie deep down.
18 May, 2011
Posted by stalinsmoustache under weird
| Tags: loss
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A story from Fred Engels, retold:
An extremely rich man fell in love with Dorothee, a little girl of seven. Given her age, the wealthy man did the right thing, avoided paedophilia by giving her father a ring, and promised to return when the ring fitted the girl’s finger. Patiently wait he did, returning after ten years to marry his young bride, only to find that she had been dead for a year. Subsequently, the man himself died of sheer boredom.
1 March, 2011
Lenin seems to think so:
The European proletariat may say that its science was created by two scholars and fighters, whose relationship to each other surpasses the most moving stories of the ancients about human friendships … His [Engels’s] love for the living Marx, and his reverence for the memory of the dead Marx were boundless. This stern fighter and austere thinker possessed a deeply loving soul (Lenin, Collected Works, vol. 2, p. 26.